Condominium fire leaves several people homeless in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – An ordinary Saturday morning in Lakewood turned into a tenants’ worst nightmare after a fire at the Kirtland Houses Condos.

“The first thing I heard was screaming in the parking lot,” said a tenant living in the building.

In a desperate attempt to escape, the tenants tried to leave the building, but a cloud of black smoke stopped them.

Meanwhile, neighbors like Beth Miller tell News 5 they watched in fear.

“The flame shots were shooting so badly. It was so scary,” Miller said. “We just saw people stuck on their balconies.”

Fortunately, Miller says the quick response from first responders saved those living inside.

“I’m so heartbroken,” Miller said.

But still, Miller and others can’t help but feel for those who are now homeless.

“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said a tenant living in the building.

Regional communications director Jim McIntyre says the Red Cross has helped people living in eight of the 14 affected condominiums with immediate financial and mental health resources.

Two were vacant, as for the other four, the Red Cross is still trying to contact them.

“The mission of the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and the majority of the more than 60,000 emergencies we respond to every year are house fires like this,” said McIntyre.

Several fire and emergency crews assisting Saturday morning told News 5 that the smoke was coming from the back of the building facing Victoria Avenue, saying the fire started on the second floor.

Lakewood Fire Chief Timothy Dunphy and other firefighters told News 5 that two people were taken to local hospitals.

At this time, their condition is unknown and the investigation is still ongoing.

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Lora M. Andrew